Citizens for an Informed Yorktown

 

Town Board Budget Review Meetings

Novembet 14 & 15, 2013

 

Whether thereíll be an increase or decrease in the 2014 tax rate may not be decided until Thursday, November 21 when the Town Board resumes its review of the Supervisorís Tentative Budget.

 

While Supervisor Graceís budget included a tax reduction of 0.46%, after 11 hours of discussion last week with 16 different department heads, it appears likely that the Preliminary Budget will include some additional expenses and some revenue shifts. When added together, the changes may result in a different tax rate than originally proposed by the Supervisor.

 

The Board reserved until Thursday afternoon discussing what is likely to be the two most controversial aspects of the Supervisorís budget:  the use of fund balance and the appropriate administrative service fee that the water, refuse and Yorktown sewer districts pay into the general fund.

 

The Supervisor has proposed using $1.2 million from the general fund fund balance to offset a $1 million increase in expenses, and an additional $1.4 million from the water districtís fund balance and $300,000 from the Yorktown sewer fund balance.

  in the special district administrative charge. The charge generates $1.4 million in revenue for the general fund and is the second largest non-tax revenue source after the sales tax.

 

One of the major expenses the Board tentatively agreed to add to the budget was an additional police officer who would be dedicated exclusively for drug enforcement.  While the new officer would cost about $70,000 in salary and benefits the first year, by the fifth year, the cost for the additional officer, including a car, would be about $160.000.

 

Other possible additions include $10,000more in the salt line for the highway department, $2,000 for paper and toner supplies for the senior computer lab, and $5,000 more for overtime in the Building Department.

 

The Board tentatively agreed to lower the revenue estimate for the general development  fee to $90,000 from $130,000 and it might take $100,000 from the libraryís fund balance.

 

The budget includes salary increases for the CSEA based on a contract the Board is expected to approve on Tuesday.  (The cumulative increase for 2013 and 2014 appears to be a 3.25% increase over the 2011 salary.)

 

During the discussion of the highway departmentís budget, there was a heated exchange between outgoing highway superintendent Eric DiBartolo and incoming superintendent, Councilman David Paganelli over the new superintendentís salary.  While the Supervisorís budget listed the salary at $95,000, Mr. Paganelli said it should be $107,000 (the superintendentís previous salary minus the extra $21,000 he received when he was Director of Labor Operations, plus the 3% raise given all elected officials in 2013) Mr. DiBartolo said the salary should be $89,000.

 

Click here for summaries of the discussions with the department heads. The summaries and other information about the 2014 budget, including a Fund Balance FAQ, is also available on yorktownbettergovernment.org.  In addition to budget issues, the summaries also offer insights into ongoing department issues, staffing issues, and other town operations.  The yorktownbettergovernment.org web site also includes a Fund Balance FAQ .